Cops say Lord Ashcroft's daughter-in-law to be 'treated as killer' if she remains silent after arrest over slain officer

POLICE say that Lord Ashcroft's daughter-in-law will be "treated as a killer" if she remains silent after being arrested over an officer's death.

Supt Henry Jemmott’s lifeless body was found floating in the sea near San Pedro, Belize, yesterday – and Jasmine Ashcroft, 38, who had "blood on her arms and clothes" was then arrested.

The American, married to Lord Ashcroft's son Andrew, was allegedly socialising with Jemmott at the time of the shooting.

She was arrested with blood on her clothes after the officer was found with a single gunshot wound to the dead.

But Jasmine Ashcroft is still "not helping" police with their enquiries into the tragedy, as it is understood she is waiting for legal representation.

Local police now say that this raises a "red flag" and that without an explanation, she will be "treated as the killer."

Belize Police Commissioner Chester Williams, who is heading the investigation, said: "The first person who arrived on the scene after the incident occurred said that she was in an emotional state.

"When she was detained last night she was not co-operating.

"She stated that she needed to have her attorney present in order for her to say what she needs to say, and it’s her right by virtue of the constitution, but that raises a red flag.

"The situation is such that it does require an explanation from her.

"In the absence of an explanation then she would have to be treated as the killer and we will proceed accordingly."

According to reports, Superintendent Jemmott's body was discovered in a dock area of San Pedro having been shot dead in the early hours of Friday morning.

The Commissioner added: "His body was recovered from the water. His weapon was recovered at the scene.

"The investigation is ongoing. It is too early to speculate but I can assure you that if any crime has been committed whoever did it will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

The married family man was found with a fatal wound behind his right ear – with his gun nearby.

Police said the couple knew each other socially in Belize, Central America, where Jasmine and husband Andrew head a luxury hotel company.

Andrew, 43, is the youngest of Lord Ashcroft's three children from his first marriage and is a citizen of Belize, where he lives and works with Jasmine.

Tributes have been paid to the officer – who was described as a well-known commander in Belize's largest city and port.


Acting Commandant Commander Gregory Soberanis said of Jemmott: “His service to his department and country will not be forgotten.

"Today we mourn his loss, but honour is duty to service.

"On behalf of the Belize coast guard our deepest sympathies as we stand together with the police department in this time of bereavement.”

Commissioner Chester Williams said his team were focusing on whether the gun shot wound was self inflicted or caused by someone else.

He added: "We have to keep an open mind in the investigation. But there is no suggestion to say there is any third actor."

Police in Belize said that a single gunshot was heard – and officers then found the woman on the pier with "blood on her arms and her clothing."

The superintendent was taken to San Pedro clinic where he was found dead on arrival.

Post mortem results on Supt Jemmott were due last night. But the dead cop’s sister Marie Jemmott Tzultold reporters she had already been told by a police pathologist he had been murdered.

She said she had spoken to her brother at 10pm on the night of his death, when he told her he was too tired to go out after a fishing trip.

Marie added: “My brother would never kill himself.

"He had a passion for life. He looked forward to being with his five children and his fiancee. My brother loved life.

"He had passion for his work. He did his work with integrity. My brother loved people."

She added: "I believe he was killed. The investigation can tell me otherwise, but I believe he was killed."

Jasmine Ashcroft was in custody in a holding cell at the San Pedro police station jail – which one local described as "hell on earth."

He added: "She is a lady who is used to luxury. Whenever you see her she is always perfectly dressed, her children are always perfect.

"She is a nice lady, very polite and beautiful. I can’t imagine her in there. I have been inside that jail.

"The cell floors are made of dirt and the whole place smells of urine."

Lord Ashcroft’s long-time lawyer, the nation’s former attorney general Godfrey Smith, was seen visiting the prison on Friday afternoon after flying in from mainland Belize.

The shooting has stunned islanders who say the Ashcroft family has been part of the fabric of Belize – formally British Honduras – for generations.

Lord Ashcroft had not replied to requests for comment.

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